Book Review - Ms. Marvel Vol. 1

Ms. Marvel Vol. 1Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'd heard so much about the new Ms. Marvel and how she's a Pakistani-American Muslim teenager, who also happens to be an Inhuman. I wasn't sure what to expect, but a colleague had the first issue of the series and I thought to take a look.

I was mesmerised from the get-go. It took me a while to get hold of the entire series (it's a bit of a cheat to say I read this particular volume; I didn't, I read single issues, but can't possibly write reviews for all 19 of them). But I haven't regretted it. This volume contains the better half of the first season of Kamala Khan.

The humour is fantastic and Kamala is a well-thought out, rounded character. It seems strange that it's taken this long for Marvel to write a sub-continental-origin character so well. The stories engage with Kamala on a teenaged and expat level.

What I didn't realise till I started reading was that Kamala was written as a nerdy geek - good grades in school, but not above making silly sci-fi film references and playing video games late into the night. I was bothered by the fact that she relies heavily on her network of friends (super and otherwise). I feel like female characters are often written to be leaders of committees, yet Peter Parker, Tony Stark, Batman and Superman are all lone gunmen who know everything and get everything done by themselves. Not sure if the lone gunman route would have worked with Kamala, though, because one of her greatest traits is her engaging personality and her trust in those around her.

At first it seems that many of the characters around Kamala are just stereotypes or caricatures, but none of them are demonised; these are human characters, voicing legitimate concerns about a young girl of colour in a world which is becoming increasingly intolerant. Also, all the supporting characters come into their own and break away from their stereotypes; one just has to stick around long enough.

This half of the season is rife with action and cameos, which makes the pacing good and fun. Maybe I have convinced myself to enjoy this series, but you can't help but get behind a young female lead character in a comic book series written by one woman and edited by another. Immediately all the female characters are shown an incredible amount of respect, the kind that would (and has been) absent in most of Marvel's other titles.

I'm looking forward to reading more of Kamala's adventures. Here's hoping season 2 is even better.

View all my reviews


Check These Out